Very old Port: new categories to enjoy

Vieux Porto

                                                  Nectars for collectors or lovers of the rare

We’ve all heard of old Ports that are 20, 30 or 40 years old. But very old Ports are revolutionising the way we think about these nectars.

In January 2022, the Port sector created the ’50 Years Old’ category (white and Tawny) and the ‘Very Very Old’ category, also known as VVO or W.

VVOs are over 80 years old! Consumers are invited to taste an exceptional wine, but also a piece of history.

These Ports are blends. But whether it’s the 50-year-olds or the VVOs, it’s imperative that at least one of the associated juices is that age.

Ports that are neither young nor old, but both.

A total of 83 Ports have been approved for release at this time. These Ports come from stocks that have been lying dormant in the Douro cellars for a long time.

The IVDP – the Douro and Port Wine Institute, the official organisation that manages and certifies this production, has organised the presentation of 9 “Old Ports” from producers.

We invite you to discover them…

www.lisbonne-affinité travelled at the invitation of the Douro and Port Wine Institute

Vieux Porto

                                                          Tawny and white: a new palate

The “new” Old Ports are exceptional. Their origins are varied.

The 50 year old Tawny wines reflect the natural oxidation observed over time, giving them the colour between copper and copper-gold of the Tawnies. The whites must have a golden-white colour.

In the VVO category – extremely rare and complex wines due to oxidation over time. They are said to be balanced and intense.

The whites in the VVO category are even rarer and more sophisticated.

Finally, the “garrafeira” category has been extended. Since January 2022, these wines, whether white or red, have had to spend 4 to 8 years in oak barrels, followed by 15 years in bottle.

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                                                                        Exceptional Ports

Nine producers – both large groups and family-run producers – presented their old Ports. They are listed here in the same order as they were presented

Kopke White Port 50 Years Old: between citric notes and dried fruit, it is golden with green reflections that indicate its age. Fine and delicate. Price: €175 (37.5 cl)

Vallegre Porto Blanc 50 ans : Intense coppery colour, with green highlights reflecting its age. A white from the estate’s stock. Price €190 (50 cl)

Rozès Very Very Olds Blanc: over 70 years old. Proof of the talent of the ancients who knew how to make Port. Contrary to the idea that whites have no future in Port. Price: €700

Taylor’s Golden Age Tawny 50 ans . A journey into spices and exoticism, with notes of rum and sultanas. An amber-golden red.

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                                                           Exceptional Ports (continued)

Vieira de Sousa Porto Tawny 50 years. The current owner of the estate belongs to the 5th generation. This wine was made by her ancestors. Coffee and liqueur on the nose, a wine that is true to the Douro. Price: €300

Vasques de Carvalho Porto Tawny 50 years. Amber with hints of gold and green, well balanced between sweetness and acidity. A wine for special occasions. Price: €380

Quinta do Estanho Porto Tawny 50 years. Matured on the slopes overlooking the River Pinhão, this is an authentic wine. Golden-brown in colour, it highlights the grape varieties typical of the region. Price: €330

Quinta do Vallado Porto Tawny 50 years. A barrel dating back to 1888 is hidden in this blend of old vines. Vibrant, with tones of resin and orange, honey and a hint of iodine. Price: €180 (50cl)

Niepoort VV. To commemorate 170 years of age, Niepoort has decided to bottle 999 VV. The VV was created by Eduard Marius van der Niepoort at the beginning of the 20th century. Concentrated and intense, it has aromas of coffee and cigar, smoke and dried fruit. An historic wine. Price: €2690